Saturday, 25 February 2012

New Article: My 10-Year Article Anniversary


That’s a lotta articles, judge.

Way back in the final two days of 2001 I wrote my first-ever article on thisischris.com. Therefore I am (2 months belatedly) celebrating the 10-year anniversary of writing articles

It seems staggeringly impossible that that’s the case, but it is what it is, yo (I’m sorry for typing that).

The internets have changed quite a bit in the past ten years. For one thing, I composted many of my early articles on a laptop with a screen resolution of 800 by 600. So having images only 300 pixels wide covered almost half the browser window, whereas now they’re barely visible with our huge monitors and laptops with their 1200+ pixel-width.

Some interesting things about the past ten years of articles: I’ve written (including this one) 84 articles in about 10 years. That averages to just over 8 articles a year. That gets kinda skewed, however, when you take into account the fact that I wrote almost 40 articles in 2002. Yup. I have no frikkin’ idea how I did that! I was only working part time at the time, but still, I have actualy worked much less than that at times since then, and yes there were a couple of years (*cough* 2010 *cough*) wherein I only managed to write a couple of articles! So really it averages out to less than five articles a year for nine years. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to write 12 articles. So this is #1! Let’s place bets onto whether or not I can do it!

Well, the last 10 years have seen a bunch of interesting articles. I’m going to commemorate them in a few ways here.

To start with, here are the 10 articles that get the most web traffic:

10 Mega Man’s Robot Masters: Part 1
A speculation on the personalities of the bosses in Mega Man 1.
9 Electronic Karate Fighters: The Pamphlet!
Trying to figure out the logic behind the characters in Electronic Karate Fighters. Has one of my favorite all-time acronyms: CLDSFGFGOMH
8 Botan Edible Plastic Wrapper Candy
In which I examine a surprisingly edible part of an Asian candy. At one point I quote heavily from Jurassic Park.
7 Where They Filmed Can’t Buy Me Love
Part 2 of a 2-part travellogue of my journey to Tucson, Arizona. This one is dominated by an in-depth review of the (unfortunately now-defunct) Magic Carpet mini golf course.
6 I Dreamt an Entire Episode: A Teen Titans Screenplay
An 80%-accurate recreation of an actual dream that I remember about 80% of. I was watching a lot of Teen Titans at the time, and I became a very Mary Sue-like character in an original episode that my dream people concocted for me. In it I made out with Raven.
5 An In-Depth Analysis of Early NES Box Art Trends
One of my more straight-ahead articles in which the title of the article is a 100%-accurate description of the contents of the article. The Graphic Designer in me still finds it all fascinating.
4 Proper Garage Sale Etiquette
I pull this one out every summer and try to get the whole world to read it. It would make everyone much more pleasant.
3 Adventures in Laptop Repair
One of the first things I ever wrote for my website about my crappy, jerry-rigged fix for a broken part of my very first laptop. Still gets tons of hits for some reason, though I can’t imagine anyone owns one of these laptops anymore.
2 Chris Houlihan’s Ticket to Immortality
An examination of the infamous “Chris Houlihan Room” Easter egg inThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Includes directions on how to get it to happen!
1 Samus Aran is a Hottie
I can’t believe how popular this funny little article is. It is responsible for fully half of my website visitors. Without any SEO tricks this article comes up #3 or #4 in google’s search results when you type in “Samus Aran.” Go ahead, try it:http://www.google.com/search?q=samus+aran
I’ve updated this article several times as new games featuring Samus have been released. I never did an “Other M” update, though. I probably should some time soon, eh?

My loyal readers who gave me feedback here and by email sang the praises of one particular series of articles: The Ocean Shores Pirate!

Here’s a bit of back-story. Long ago in 2002 my wife and I took at trip to Ocean Shores [Adentures in Ocean Shores 2002], as we have been known to do. In one of the many gift shops I stumbled upon this balsa wood postcard emblazoned with an hilarious-looking pirate. You know I had to get it. The image of this pirate saying “Bonafide” seemed hilarious to me, so I scanned in the postcard and added the dialogue bubble to him:

And the Ocean Shores Pirate (OCP) was then born. He’s appeared at the end of countless articles (well, I suppose you could count if you wanted, but I’m not digging through all them articles just to find them all) to comment on them. But more importantly, he’s starred in a series of Hallowen-themed DIY craft articles:

Pumpkin Carving with the Ocean Shores Pirate
A Halloween Project for the Ocean Shores Pirate
Ghostly Crafts with the Ocean Shores Pirate
The Ocean Shores Pirate’s Best Costume Idea Ever
A Halloween Surprise for the Ocean Shores Pirate
The Ocean Shores Pirate Has Gone Batty!

The OCP’s character quickly evolved into an insane, belligerent drunkard who can’t function without a blood alcohol level under 4.6 or so. Here are my Top-10 favorite OCP lines (in chronological order):

  1. “Choosing a winner between the two o’ them would be like trying to choose a winner between a bucket o’ rotten eggs and a bucket o’ vomited-up okra.”
  2. “Me rum-soaked brain be too addled at the moment to think of naught but a dog drinkin’ a beer while a squid sadly watches.”
  3. “Shame should be spreadin’ through yer bones just as me own rum-enriched urine be spreadin’ through me trousers at this very moment!”
  4. “I be keepin me liver so full up o’ hooch that it be the size of three melons what been sewn end-to-end!”
  5. “My ghosts be small enough to fit in me ears and addle me brain, yet large enough so as when they be breathin’ it comes out me armpits.”
  6. “I’ll send ye a special Halloween surprise in the mail… a curse as old as the sea and as wet as me crotch!”
  7. “I be hopin’ that yer kneecap stay wherein it’s supposed to stay, unlike mine, what done run off with a female postal worker who be showerin’ it with fancy gifts right now!”
  8. “If yer sailin’ along and suddenly a skeleton boards yer boat and stabs ye with its bony sword, then that be considered very bad luck indeed!”
  9. “I be so excited that I be on the verge o’ losin’ all control over me bladder! I also be so drunk that I be on the verge o’ losin’ all control over me bowels! I’m takin’ bets as to which one fails first. Three-to-two odds on me bowels! Any takers?”
  10. “Arr, I gots me a project o’ me own. I call it hooch. Others may call it booze.”

Other articles that got a good amount of love were 2011’s Time Travel articles, in which I engage in a couple of fascinating thought experiments:

My Infamous Reverse-Time Tube
Time Travel: This Time It’s Personal

But I know what you’re thinking: “Enough with what other people think about your articles, Chris! We only care what YOU think!”

Well, you’re right of course. I could go on and on about what other people think of my articles, but that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as if I told you about MY personal favorite articles. This is CHRIS dot com, after all.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite articles here, but with a stipulation: I can’t use any article that has been previously listed in this article, because that would be redundant. So here are my favorite articles that have yet to be mentioned in this article, in chronological order:

The Shame of the He-Man Poster
In which I discover that He-Man and Prince Adam are, in fact, separate people, and He-Man’s people and Skeletor’s team are quite a lot like the Montagues and Capulets.
My Favorite M.U.S.C.L.E.S
In which I speculate on the personalities of several of the more bizarre of the pink figurines from the 1980s. Long before the Japanese cartoon.
Mr. T’s Storybook: How Not to be a Square
In which I do an impression of an (even more) insane Mr. T while examining how unbelievably ridiculous his coloring/activity book is.
Snack on THIS, Jaxson!!
A review of the video game “Snacks ‘n’ Jaxson,” in which I try desperately to make sense of the senseless video game.
Humble Beginnings: He-Man’s Rock People
In which I discover the shocking identities of two people who worked on this shameful action figure tie-in comic.
Mikie: Headbutts & Heartbeats
In which I examine the incredibly surreal high-school environment found in the video game “Mikie.”
The Best Sport EVAR: Two Sticks!
In which I give detailed instructions and rules for my favorite-ever variation of badminton.
My Secret Shame: Street of Terror
In which I confess to having an hilariously irrational childhood fear, and include Mr. Peanut in the list of primal fears of humanity.
Unboxing Open Mike Eagle’s “Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes”
In which I make fun of the “unboxing” video phenomenon, and in the process get to promote one of my favorite albums and brag a bit about my involvement with it.

And now for my ALL-TIME FAVORITE ARTICLE OF ALL TIME!

The Diary of Dr. Kick:
Mysterious Stone Archaeologist

In which I relay the tale of how I found a diary that managed to turn the very obscure and innocuous 1980s arcade game “Mysterious Stones” into a Lovecraftian tale of horror and journey into savage and terrifying depths. This article is truly epic and contains some of my favorite writing, and much like in Lovecraft’s early career the casual racism while describing indigenous cultures runs rampant! For example, an “Education Room” is described thusly: “What horrors had been fed into the mongrel tribal children in this place where only the Devil’s ideas took hold I dared not imagine.”

If you read no other articles from my website, I highly recommend you read and be horrified by the tale ofDr. Kick and his Mysterious Stones.

Well, that about wraps it up for the first 10 years of Articles on my website. Here’s to 85 more in the next 10 years, unlikely as that may be!

What do you think, Ocean Shores Pirate?

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